The team has jumped on board with New York's RVNG, and done a solid job of cashing in on their hard-earned cred. To start, it should be noted that title track "Hideous Racket" is about as big a misnomer as you can find. It's a sugary bit of instrumental synth-pop that invokes nothing as much as Speak & Spell-era Depeche Mode with effervescent, unabashed melodies twinkling over lightly chugging electro. Basically, listening to it in July will make you feel like an asshole if you're not at the wheel of a convertible on the way towards an inviting body of water.
"Seven Down Six Across" churns and burns, with acid-like bursts of psychedelic synths, evoking a shamanistic control over psychic energy. "Weird Science" earns its status as the go-to track by sublating the strengths of its predecessors, bristling with expressive synthesizers that pump out dance floor riffs before melting into filter-y oblivion. Its sense of craft makes "Slump" feel like a bit of an after-thought. With its bleary, down-pitched melodies and herky-jerk toms, "Slump" sounds like a bad drug comedown. Like any tune that apes a negative emotion, you've gotta be in the mood to appreciate it.
The record comes back-loaded with a barrage of remixes from RVNG's hairy electro-weirdo underground. "Hideous Racket" blossoms in two tricked-out takes, a Scrunge version which rubs the track's pretty little face in the dirt, and one by Thee Four Horseman, which basically eats the track for breakfast and craps out a DFA-disco sizzler replete with new vocals and a krauty sense of epic drive. Amidst all these aggressive interventions, Pink Skull's take on "Seven Down" sticks out for restraining itself to a mere hearty beef-up of the original. Sometimes that's all it takes: "Seven Down"'s enough of a headphone-friendly trip that it deserves another go round.
Tue / 29 Jun 2010
A1 Hideous Racket
A2 Seven Down Six Across
B1 Weird Science
Digital: Hideous Racket (Scrunge Version)
Digital: Hideous Racket (Thee Four Horseman Remix)
Digital: Seven Down Six Across (Pink Skull Remix)
Digital: Weird Science (Wesley Matsell Remix)